Scratches and Dents: Will Car Insurance Cover Minor Damage?

A car with insurance that has some minor scratch and dent damage

Scratches and dents are not only unsightly, they can negatively affect your car’s value. Sometimes they’re unavoidable, but your insurance can help pay for repairs if you have the right coverage. Here’s everything you need to know about what coverage you need for scratches and dents and how to deal with a damaged car.

Basics of Car Insurance

A typical car insurance policy may cover your medical expenses, bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Car insurance does not typically require coverage for damage to your own car, like in the case of scratches or dents. The specifics will vary based on the exact terms of your policy contract.

Liability coverage protects you if you’re held responsible for injuring someone or damaging their property in a car accident. It doesn’t pay for damage to your own vehicle, however. A liability-only policy means that in the event of damage, your insurance policy will not pay to repair your vehicle.

Full Coverage for Scratches and Dents

Depending on the circumstance, either your collision or comprehensive coverage will pay for scratches and dents. These are optional coverages that help pay for damage to your car.

Collision coverage pays for damage to your car if it hits another vehicle or stationary object or is hit by another vehicle. Comprehensive coverage pays for damages not related to a collision.

Comprehensive coverage may cover:Collision coverage may cover:
Natural disasters and storms Hitting another vehicle
Vandalism Hit by another vehicle
Damage caused by animals Hitting a stationary object

Having collision and comprehensive coverage is known as having “full coverage” on a vehicle. Car insurance policies do not typically require full coverage, but it may be a requirement as a term of your loan or lease if you owe money on the car.

Full Coverage
Collision and comprehensive coverage are not typically required coverage. Check with your insurance company or agent to see if you have full coverage on your vehicle.

When Scratches and Dents Aren’t Covered

Coverage for scratches and dents depends on your insurance policy and the circumstances surrounding the damage. Scratches and dents may be covered by collision and comprehensive coverage, there are situations where your coverage may be limited or not applicable.

The most common situation for scratch and dent damage not being covered is if you don’t carry the right coverage. Your car insurance will not cover scratches and dents if you don’t already have the applicable coverage whether, that’s collision or comprehensive.

Your insurance will not cover pre-existing damage. For example, if you bought a used car and the body has scratches or dents your new car insurance policy will not pay to fix it.

Is it Worth Filing a Claim?

When you file a collision or comprehensive claim, you will need to pay your deductible before your car insurance will start paying. A deductible is your share of the cost for a claim. A deductible is not the same as your premium, which is what you pay to maintain your policy.

Depending on the severity of the damage, it may not always be worth filing a claim. For example, say someone hits your parked car with their door in a parking lot while you are shopping. If that ding costs $200 to repair and your deductible is $500, your insurance will cover any of the costs. Since you have to meet your deductible before your car insurance kicks in, it may not be worth filing a claim in this case.

On the other hand, if your car suffered multiple dents from a hailstorm, the repair bill can quickly add up. If it costs $2,000 to repair the dents and your deductible is $500, you would pay $500 and your insurance will pick up the rest.

However, you should always notify your insurance if you get into an accident with another driver, even if the damage is minor.

Filing a Claim for Minor Damage

If your car has suffered mild damage and you wish to file a claim, don’t delay. Call your insurance company as soon as possible and report the damage.

We know that filing any kind of car insurance claim, even a small one, can be stressful. Our unique claims services will simplify the process, getting you back on the road in no time.

  1. Call the Police
    If the damage to your car is a result of an accident, an act of vandalism or a hit-and-run, call the police and have them file a report.
  2. Take Pictures
    Take detailed pictures of the damage to your car and its surroundings. These are helpful for the adjuster when they investigate your claim.
  3. File Your Claim
    Please have your policy number ready. You can file a claim online or by contacting us or your agent directly.
  4. Assignment and Tracking of the Claim
    After you report your claim, you’ll receive a claim number to help track its progress. We’ll also assign you a friendly representative to answer any questions you may have.
  5. Damage Evaluation
    If your vehicle has damage and the applicable coverage applies, we offer these convenient options to get you back on the road as soon as possible:
    • CarPicsSM Photo Appraisals: Eliminate the need to schedule a claims inspection and receive your estimate within hours. You may even get paid that same day.*
    • Crashbusters® Mobile Claim Service: Have a representative meet you to appraise the damage at a time and place that’s convenient for you, often issuing you a check on the spot.
    • Door to Door Valet Claim Service®: Let us pick up your car and handle the repair process from start to finish. If you have rental coverage, we’ll even coordinate a rental car.
  6. Receive Your Claim Settlement
    Based on your situation, Plymouth Rock may pay your claim to the repair shop or we may reimburse you directly. Your claim payment will be based on the terms and coverage in your car insurance policy.

Dealing With a Damaged Car: Scratches and Dents

If your car has suffered a scratch or dent, be prompt about repairing it. Damage on your car can affect its resale value. Even if you’re not planning on selling your car, your car’s value will affect how much you may receive in the event of a total loss.

Your insurance may not pay for damage if you wait too long to file a claim. Scratches and dents can also grow to become bigger issues- exposed metal can quickly rust and escalate the scope of the repair. Insurance may not pay for damage due to neglect, so report any damage and have the repairs done by a reputable shop as soon as possible. You may be able to repair small scratches by yourself with an automotive polishing kit, but dents will require a professional to repair.

Conclusion: Does Car Insurance Cover Scratches and Dents?

While comprehensive and collision both cover damage to your own car, it may not be worth it to file an insurance claim for minor scratches and dents. Whether it’s worth it or not to file a claim depends on the severity of the damage, the circumstances of the damage and your car insurance deductible. Repairing scratches and dents can help maintain the value of your car, and can help prevent future damage.

Now Let’s Talk About You
Do you have the right coverage for your vehicle? We’d love to chat with you about it. Call us at 855-993-4470 or speak to a local agent.

If you’d rather not talk, you can get a quote quickly and easily online. Just enter your ZIP code to get started and see how much you could save!

*Certain restrictions apply.